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Ruth Bennett comments on ‘crash for cash’ scams

Attempted £300,000 fraud saw 25 would-be scammers end up in court in Liverpool

The participants of a large scale ‘crash for cash’ scam found themselves facing justice this week after they appeared in court charged with conspiracy to defraud in relation to 8 separate ‘fictional’ car accidents.

The scam, which was organised by Garry Livesey from St Helens and Daniel Gill from Prescot, saw up to 50 participants involved in a series of faked car accidents in 2009 and 2010, where Mr Livesey was the “at-fault driver”. After these “accidents”, the plan was that the participants would then go on to make claims for whiplash and other related injuries. If those claims had been successful, they would have stood to gain several thousand pounds each.

Fortunately on this occasion, the scam failed after suspicious insurance company representatives began an investigation into Mr Livesey, who despite having apparently been involved in several accidents, had failed to notify his own insurance company. As the investigation continued, one-by-one the amateur scammers dropped their claims, but not before some of them had wasted NHS time attending medical assessments.

Attending court en masse in Liverpool this week, the 25 defendants were criticised by Judge Andrew Menary QC, who described them as acting out of “pure greed”. He went on to say that:

“Each of these defendants has pleaded guilty and by their plea - each accepts that he or she dishonestly participated with others in a scheme designed to defraud insurers out of many thousands of pounds.

The so-called crash-for-cash scam is costing the insurance industry hundreds of millions of pounds and is adding a significant additional cost to everyone’s household premiums. These are not victimless crimes, far from it. The motivation for those who get involved is purely greed.

When the fraud was detected and people were arrested- some defendants accepted that there had been no accident while others sought to bluff it out. This type of fraud is endemic and has had sufficiently widespread publicity that all those who do it must by now be aware of the nature of the fraud they are joining.”

Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors – Representing genuine road accident victims

At Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors, we represent genuine accident victims who have suffered real injuries in road traffic accidents that were not their fault. Our solicitors deal with hundreds of genuinely injured clients each year – people who in some cases will have suffered very serious injuries with potentially life-changing consequences – securing them the compensation they deserve.

Ruth Bennett, one of our Road Traffic Accident Solicitors, added her thoughts on this latest crash for cash scam and what more could be done by insurers and law firms to make sure that fraudulent claims are weeded out at the earliest opportunity.

“Fraud is a very serious crime and both solicitors and insurance companies need to work together to tackle fraud and ensure that innocent, injured people have access to justice.

A recent Parliamentary report into whiplash following road traffic accidents, called for insurers to stop settling claims before a medical exam, such practice only sought to encourage fraud.

I would urge insurance companies to follow the suggestion contained within the Parliamentary report that they should share information regarding suspected fraudulent activity with claimant solicitors, such as myself and my colleagues here at Canter Levin & Berg. This would enable the whole industry to take a stand against fraud.”
By Ruth Bennett